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Inside This Issue

Message from the Chief Operating Officer

Clean Energy Bills Gain Support

CCEF Approves Funding for State’s Largest Solar Energy Project – for Staples

Milestone Reached in 20% by 2010 Campaign

$3 Million Funding Increase for the Residential/Small Solar PV Rebate Program

Raising Awareness During Clean Energy Week: April 17 - 20

Staff Spotlight – Dave Ljungquist

Barrett Outdoor Communications Installs Solar PV System and Promotes Solar Energy

Centerbrook Architects and Planners Installs Solar PV System as Part of Its Sustainable Building Design

Staff Spotlight – Angela Perondi-Pitel

CCEF Spreads Its Wings at Eagle Festival

Lise Dondy Presents at NESEA Conference

Event Calendar

Clean Energy Bills Gain Support

In the current legislative session, which began in February, the legislature has been supportive of bills that uphold the mission of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) and would result in increased opportunities for renewable energy installations. Some of the progress to date is noted below, but final outcomes on proposed legislation will not be determined until the conclusion of the session in early May.

The Energy and Technology Committee has acted favorably on Senate Bill 571, An Act Authorizing Bonds of the State for Alternative Energy Sources. Introduced by Senator Donald Williams, president pro tempore of the State Senate, the bill authorizes $100 million in bonding to support the CCEF’s On-site Renewable Distributed Generation Program. The program was launched in December when the Clean Energy Advisory Committee approved $21 million in ratepayer funds for the initiative. With the funding proposed in SB 571, CCEF would be able to fund an additional 21.9 MW of renewable energy projects statewide. This equates to approximately sixty-eight 250 kW fuel cell installations and fifty 100 kW solar PV installations.

Senate Bill 211, An Act Concerning Renewable Energy, has been unanimously approved by the Energy and Technology Committee. This bill contains several provisions that promote renewable energy. One such provision expands the net metering limit to 1 MW for electric customers who choose to install on-site renewable distributed generation. It also allows customers to carry forward excess power they produce into the next billing cycle for a period of 12 months. At the end of the 12 months, if the amount of power generated by the customer exceeds the amount the customer has used, the utility must compensate the customer at the rate of one cent per kilowatt-hour.

The Commerce Committee has unanimously approved Senate Bill 351, An Act Concerning the Establishment of a Connecticut Hydrogen Roadmap and Implementing a Hydrogen Demonstration Program. The bill contains two provisions supporting hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The first provision establishes funding for the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) to develop a hydrogen “roadmap,” or plan, to bring hydrogen and fuel cell technologies to the marketplace and enhance energy reliability and security in the state. The bill specifies that CCAT must work with the Connecticut Hydrogen-Fuel Cell Coalition, the Department of Economic and Community Development and CCEF to create this roadmap. The second provision authorizes $20 million in funding for a fuel cell demonstration program to be created and administered by Connecticut Innovations (CI). The bill calls for CI to work with the Department of Public Works and legislative management to install fuel cells in state buildings and facilities and in certain nonprofit institutions.

While these bills may be modified during the remainder of the session and final bill outcomes have yet to be determined, CI is pleased with the support that the legislature has demonstrated for the proposed clean energy initiatives. The proposed initiatives complement and enhance CCEF’s efforts to make Connecticut a national leader in the critical clean energy arena.

CCEF Approves Funding for State’s Largest Solar Energy Project – for Staples

In early March, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) approved $1.7 million in funding for the single largest solar photovoltaic (PV) project ever undertaken in the state and also the largest in New England. The 325-kilowatt AC commercial solar photovoltaic system will be developed in Killingly, Connecticut, on the site of a distribution center of the national office supply retailer, Staples. SunEdison, a solar finance and installation company, is financing this project via third-party financing. SunEdison has installed three solar systems for Staples in New Jersey and California. CCEF funded the project under its $21 million On-site Renewable Distributed Generation Program. The decision represents a milestone: CCEF has now supported development of more than 100 solar PV systems statewide, having a total nameplate capacity exceeding one megawatt (1,000 kilowatts of electricity).

$3 Million Funding Increase for the
Residential/Small Solar PV Rebate Program

Because of the Residential/Small Solar Phototvoltaic (PV) Rebate Program’s popularity, the Connecticut Clean Energy Investment Committee in late January approved additional funding of $3 million for the program. This program supports residential installations of under 5 kW and small commercial, industrial and institutional installations of under 10 kW. The additional funding should support about 130 new installations, consisting of approximately 120 residential and 10 small commercial, industrial and institutional installations, each receiving an average of approximately $23,000 in support. Most of the previously approved $1.8 million in funding for the program has already been deployed or committed.

Lise Dondy, CCEF chief operating officer, commented, “The CCEF is pleased to play a role in addressing long-term energy costs for the average consumer by making it more economically feasible for these consumers to install small solar units on their homes or where they work. The power provided by such systems can help serve as an important hedge against future rate increases.”

Given the recent electric rate increase, concern about the dependence on fossil fuel, air emission concerns and continued program outreach, Connecticut Innovations expects that the demand for small solar PV systems will increase and that the newly approved funding will help satisfy expected demand.

Raising Awareness During Clean Energy Week:
April 17 - 20

To celebrate clean energy successes around the state and raise awareness about steps that Connecticut residents, organizations and municipalities can take to incorporate clean energy into their lives and operations, CCEF is partnering with SmartPower in organizing Connecticut’s first Clean Energy Week. Clean Energy Week will take place April 17 - 20 and will consist of a series of special events held statewide. All of the events will be open to the public.

Events Schedule:

April 17 - Clean Energy Challenge: New Haven vs. West Hartford - Location TBD

In 2005, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano issued a challenge to West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka. The challenge was to see which town could sign up the greatest number of residents to the CTCleanEnergyOptions program – through which residents support clean energy. The victorious town team would celebrate by enjoying pizza or soda provided by the opponent and would watch the losing town mayor don a t-shirt inscribed with “I love…(winning town’s name).” At this April 17th event, the name of the victor will be announced.

April 18 - Legislators’ Day - Legislative Office Building, Hartford

The day will begin with an informational forum, at which short presentations will be made by speakers from CCEF, environmental groups, economic development organizations, industry and the Environment Committee of the state legislature. The day will also feature clean energy exhibits.

April 19 - Clean Energy Communities Awards Luncheon - Stamford Marriott

At the luncheon, CCEF and SmartPower will recognize the ten Connecticut towns that have most recently become Clean Energy Communities, presenting each town with an award.

April 20 - Hartford Earth Day Celebration Hartford - Hartford City Hall

At Hartford’s Earth Day celebration, CCEF and SmartPower will promote clean energy and celebrate Hartford’s qualification as a Clean Energy Community.

April 20 - Solar Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - Middletown High School

As the first town to qualify for a free solar PV system under the Clean Energy Communities Program, Middletown will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site of its solar installation.

For additional information regarding the Clean Energy Week events, please contact Bryan Garcia at the CCEF, 860-563-0015, or visit CCEF’s Web site, www.ctcleanenergy.com.

Barrett Outdoor Communications Installs Solar PV System and Promotes Solar Energy

State Representative Steve Fontana, co-chairman of the Energy and Technology Committee, State Representative Richard Roy, co-chairman of the Environment Committee, officials from CCEF, including CCEF’s chief operating officer Lise Dondy, and owners of Barrett Outdoor Communications were on hand on February 2nd to flip the switch, turning on a 16.8-kW solar installation at the headquarters of Barrett Outdoor Communications. The system consists of 105 solar PV panels. It will supply approximately 35% of the power for the Barrett facility, and any surplus energy will be put back into the grid. CCEF assisted the company by providing a grant of $76,000 to defray approximately half the cost of the installation. Known for its commitment to protecting and enhancing the environment, Barrett has also helped to promote the importance of harnessing solar energy by sponsoring a billboard located on I-95 in West Haven.

Centerbrook Architects and Planners Installs Solar PV System as Part of Its Sustainable Building Design

On February 21, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman joined Centerbrook Architects and Planners for a dedication of a 16.5-kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed on the rooftop of Centerbrook Architects and Planners, in Centerbrook, Connecticut. The installation consists of 100 solar PV panels that will turn sunlight into electricity, and it is expected to supply 10% of the building’s electrical needs. A strong supporter of innovative sustainable design, the firm draws another 10% of its electricity from hydropower. CCEF assisted Centerbrook Architects and Planners by providing a grant of $75,000 to defray approximately half the cost of the solar installation.

Staff Spotlight – Angela Perondi-Pitel

Angela, a program associate who joined CCEF six months ago, helps to educate the public about the benefits of clean energy. She does this by coordinating CCEF’s informal, museum-based public education initiatives and developing the Fund’s formal school-based initiative. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to educate Connecticut residents of all ages about the overall societal benefits of clean, renewable energy, while generating demand for a clean energy market.

Specifically, Angela represents CCEF in the Connecticut Science Center Collaborative, whose goal is to identify and deploy the most effective clean energy educational tools into a statewide network of approximately 30 science centers and museums. Additionally, she is representing CCEF in the design phase of the Clean and Efficient Energy exhibit that will be a part of the new Connecticut Center for Science and Exploration, slated to open in Hartford in 2008. She is also helping to plan and implement a pilot school-based educational initiative that will teach 9th graders about solar energy.

Angela stated, “It’s exciting to be part of an energy industry transformation right here in Connecticut.  I particularly enjoy playing a role in stimulating our next generation to embrace our energy challenges with a positive and innovative attitude.  These young people will play a crucial role in the way society uses clean energy technologies to address its increasing energy needs.”

Before joining CI and the CCEF, Angela worked in both the private and non-profit sectors. In previous positions, she worked on programs related to environmental sustainability, clean energy technologies, and corporate social responsibility. Angela most recently served as an MIT project fellow, introducing clean energy technologies into educational institutions and community groups to promote community empowerment and social change.

Angela earned a master’s degree in environmental management and policy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Sao Paulo Catholic University.

Lise Dondy Presents at NESEA Conference

CCEF’s chief operating officer, Lise Dondy, presented information regarding the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) Building Energy ’06 conference held in March at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. She participated on the panel entitled, “State Clean Energy Funds: A Progress Report” and joined representatives from Massachusetts and Rhode Island in presenting. The three-day conference, held March 7-9, attracted over 1,000 attendees and featured workshops, panel discussions and 150 exhibitors.



Message from the Chief Operating Officer

Connecticut Innovations’ vision is “to drive a vibrant, entrepreneurial, technology-based economy in Connecticut.” That’s important, because the future belongs to states and nations that are leaders in technology innovation. Over the last 17 years, CI has carried out its vision with determination and diligence.

Through our Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), we are following this vision. Since the Fund was launched in 2000, we have established ten new programs aimed at increasing the supply of clean energy in Connecticut and the demand for and use of clean energy. We have supported 118 clean energy installations and demonstrations statewide; encouraged nearly 7,000 ratepayers to make the switch to clean energy through the CTCleanEnergyOptions program; and secured approvals for 34 megawatts under Phase I of the Project 100 program. These are just some of our accomplishments to date.

In the coming months, we will be taking our efforts to a new level. We will be expanding our Residential/Small Solar Photovoltaic Rebate Program; introducing a pilot Community Innovations Grant Program; and supporting the first-ever fuel cell park in the state – among other activities.

Connecticut Innovations, through our Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, is working hard to make Connecticut a global leader in the clean energy arena. We are seeking to create a brighter, healthier, more energy-independent future for our citizens.

Milestone Reached in 20% by 2010 Campaign

Twenty is the magic number in more ways than one. In March, SmartPower, an organization supported with funding from CCEF, succeeded in securing a commitment to its 20% by 2010 Campaign from a twentieth Connecticut town – Branford. This marks a significant milestone for SmartPower’s clean energy campaign. These twenty towns have committed to purchasing 20% of their energy needs –for municipal buildings and facilities – from clean and renewable sources by the year 2010.

The twenty towns are:

  • Bethany
  • Branford
  • Canton
  • Cheshire
  • Essex
  • Fairfield*
  • Glastonbury*
  • Hamden*
  • Hartford*
  • Mansfield*
  • Middletown*
  • Milford*
  • New Britain
  • New Haven*
  • Orange
  • Portland
  • Stamford*
  • Trumbull
  • West Hartford*
  • Westport

Ten (*) of these towns have also become Clean Energy Communities, as a result of CCEF’s efforts. To qualify as a Clean Energy Community, a town must have 1) committed to the 20% by 2010 campaign and 2) signed up at least 100 residents to the CTCleanEnergyOptions Program, through which residents choose to switch to clean energy.

Staff Spotlight – Dave Ljungquist

Organizations seeking grant support from CCEF to install an on-site clean energy system or to generate clean energy to feed into the Connecticut grid will likely be directed to Dave Ljungquist. Dave, a CCEF project manager, encourages prospective grant applicants to call him for a preliminary discussion before submitting a full proposal. He is available to answer questions from project developers – regarding both technical and economic aspects of a proposed project – and can make suggestions for strengthening proposals.

Dave’s background in engineering and finance enables him to be an effective member of the CCEF team that evaluates commercial proposals. Once such projects are funded, Dave actively monitors and tracks their progress, interfacing frequently with grantees to help resolve problems, ensure that projects are being implemented in accordance with the funding agreement and facilitate successful project completion.

“The nature of the work that we do here – supporting clean energy generating technologies – is fascinating, and I am pleased to be a part of it,” Dave stated.

Dave joined the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund team eight months ago. His involvement in the energy field, however, began more than a decade ago, when he worked for Nitech, Inc., marketing an innovative transmission line monitoring system to large electric utilities. He subsequently joined Northeast Utilities as that organization was gearing up to meet the challenges of deregulation, becoming manager of contract and proposal development for Select Energy, a Northeast Utilities subsidiary. He also was previously employed by Nxegen, Inc., a startup company that provides energy monitoring and management services. After a brief stint in consulting for an energy-efficient lighting company and then the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, Dave joined CCEF on a full-time basis.

Dave holds a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

CCEF Spreads Its Wings at Eagle Festival

An estimated 8,000 people attended this year’s Eagle Festival, hosted by the Connecticut Audubon Society in downtown Essex on February 18 and 19. CCEF served as an event sponsor and actively reached out to the many attendees from its perch under the CCEF tent on Main Street. Representatives from CCEF, SmartPower, the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, five solar installation companies, and two clean energy suppliers participating in the CTCleanEnergyOptions program were on hand under the tent to inspire visitors, explaining the benefits and intricacies of clean energy and energy efficiency. Additionally, the Town of Essex staffed an exhibit table under the CCEF tent, from which it encouraged Essex residents to support clean energy by signing up for the CTCleanEnergyOptions program.


CCEF's Angela Perondi-Pitel and Kimberly Peterson provide information and excitement at the 2006 Eagle Festival



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Connecticut Innovations Event Calendar

Date
Event
Location
April 9-13
BIO 2006
Chicago, IL
April 17
Clean Energy Challenge, West Hartford v. New Haven
TBD
April 18
Legislators’ Day on the Environment
Legislative Office Building - Hartford
April 19
Clean Energy Communities Awards Luncheon Stamford Marriott
April 20
Solar Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Middletown High School
April 20
Hartford Earth Day Celebration Hartford City Hall
April 20
Clean Energy Seminar
CT Audubon - Milford
May 2-3
Crossroads Venture Fair
The Westin - Stamford, CT
May 17
Clean Energy Seminar
CT Audubon - Pomfret
June 8
Clean Energy Seminar
CT Audubon Birdcraft Museum - Fairfield


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